Antiaging efficacy of a retinaldehyde-based cream compared with glycolic acid peel sessions: A randomized controlled study

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018 Dec;17(6):1136-1143. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12511. Epub 2018 Jul 19.


Background: Glycolic acid (GA) chemical peels are a popular treatment for photoaged skin rejuvenation, but retinaldehyde (RAL)-based cosmetic creams have also demonstrated efficacy in improving photoaging, and are potentially better tolerated than chemical peels.

Aims: To compare the efficacy and safety of an antiaging cream containing 0.1% RAL associated with Glycylglycine Oleamide (GGO, Relastide® ) and Pre-tocopheryl® , to GA peels sessions in the treatment of photoaging.

Patients and methods: Fifty-five women with photoaging were randomized in 2 treatment groups: (1) Daily application of the antiaging cream for 8 weeks or (2) Three sequential GA peels (20%, 50%, and 70%), 2-3 weeks apart. Skin surface texture, length of wrinkles, complexion radiance, and evenness of pigmentation and texture were assessed by profilometry using skin replicas, computer image analysis, and self-assessment.

Results: Efficacy of both treatments was similar in reducing crow's feet wrinkles depth (STm -7.61%, P = .0007 vs -4.34%, P = .0348; P = .3049 intergroup) and volume, crow's feet and periorbital wrinkle length, and number of fine lines and wrinkles at end of treatments. The efficacy of the cream in refining skin texture was superior to the peels (contrast: -5.61%, P = .0025 vs +3.54, P = .08; P intergroup = .0252). The 8-week treatment with the antiaging cream was well tolerated; adverse events were fewer and of milder intensity than with the peels, (12-fold lower incidence of physical signs).

Conclusion: A dermocosmetic cream containing 0.1% RAL, GGO (Relastide® ) and Pre-tocopheryl® is as effective as 3 sequential GA peels, better tolerated, and is an alternative in the management of photoaged skin.

Keywords: chemical peels; crow's feet; glycolic acid peels; photoaging; randomized clinical study; retinaldehyde.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chemexfoliation*
  • Female
  • Glycolates / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinaldehyde / pharmacology*
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Cream
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin E / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • Glycolates
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • pre-tocopheryl
  • glycolic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Retinaldehyde